Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your company and the duties of your position.
Shawn David Gallagher: As the Fixed Operations Manager, I am responsible for directing and coordinating the operations of both Silver State International and Peterbilt Truck Parts & Equipment. Both are full service dealerships offering new & used truck sales, service, parts, collision and lease & rental. I work with our team to constantly improve the performance, productivity, efficiency and profitability of departmental and organizational operations through the provision of effective methods and strategies. I have been very fortunate to work for two companies that stand for value, integrity and excellence in customer service. These principals translate into all that we do and how we conduct business each day.
NNBW: What do you enjoy most about working in your field?
Gallagher: What I love most about my job is the employees, although I do love technology and the ability to innovate. I learned at a very early age that your employees are your company’s number one asset and they should be treated as such. Challenge them to be great and reap the rewards of an empowered, valuable team member.
NNBW: What is the most challenging part about your job?
Gallagher: The most challenging part of my job is the same as the most rewarding: our employees. Recruiting and retaining great employees is difficult, especially here in northern Nevada. There are so many wonderful opportunities here locally. It’s like going to a high-end restaurant with a menu that is too big. There are too many great choices to choose from.
NNBW: What do you foresee in the future of your profession?
Gallagher: Many companies in the manufacturing and distribution sector are choosing to call northern Nevada home. I think the immediate future holds much opportunity to all who live here, including in the trucking sector. Long term, I look forward to watching the industry advance in technology and offer vehicles that enhance safety. There have been significant strides in recent years and there is more to come.
NNBW: What advice would you give someone who wants to get into your profession?
Gallagher: Quite simply, continue to educate yourself. I love the advice Dr. Stephen R. Covey offers in The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People — Sharpen the Saw. Regardless of your profession don’t be too reliant on old methods and old tools. Stop, re-evaluate and sharpen the saw often. Always be open to change and diverse ideas. You never know when you’ll learn that one thing that will change your perspective, your opinion, or your life.
NNBW: What was the best advice anyone ever gave you either professionally or personally?
Gallagher: My best advice applies to both. Leave this life exhausted: work hard and play even harder.
NNBW: Has there been someone who was especially influential in helping you establish your career or in reaching your higher goals? If so, who and how?
Gallagher: I’ve had several, although I can’t name a one. I’m highly inquisitive and have picked up a lifetime of information from those that I’ve come into contact with. Sometimes it’s important to keep your mouth closed and your eyes and ears wide open.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Gallagher: One of my first, and perhaps most impactful jobs, was the military. I entered the U.S. Army at age 17 and was stationed in Wurzburg, Germany. By the summer of 1990 I was deployed to Saudi Arabia during what is now considered the first Gulf War (or Operation Desert Shield; then Desert Storm). I was a Specialist and a member of the 493rd Quartermaster and Supply Company and was assigned to offer fuel and vehicle recovery support. I drove a 10-ton HEMTT Wrecker (Heavy Expanded Mobile Tactical Truck) and made hundreds of missions into both Kuwait and Iraq to recover anything from heavy vehicles to tanks. If it was ours and it was disabled, I recovered it. Keep in mind these were the years when reading maps required the ability to understand grid coordinates rather than following a GPS unit and most recoveries took place at night.
NNBW: Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
Gallagher: I’m about a 60/40 split when it comes to mountains versus beach. My wife has introduced me to beach vacations recently and I’m really beginning to enjoy them.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like about living/working here?
Gallagher: In the early 1990s I attended my sister’s wedding here in northern Nevada and fell in love with it. I visited Lake Tahoe and dared to swim in the cold water of Donner Lake and couldn’t get the experience out of my mind. I moved to Reno the first time a few years later. From there, work took me throughout the western region until I returned to northern Nevada in 2001. Since, I’ve held both the service manager and fixed operations role here for both Peterbilt Truck Parts & Equipment and Silver State International. I’m also a current member of the Peterbilt National Service Council.